What is corneal transplant surgery like?
After approval for corneal transplant surgery, you will be placed on a wait list for donor cornea tissue. After donor tissue is available, the surgery will be performed. The donor tissue is rigorously screened to make sure it is healthy before being used in a transplant.
Corneal transplant surgery is usually short, taking about an hour.
There are two main types of corneal surgery, penetrating keratoplasty and lamellar keratoplasty. In penetrating keratoplasty, your entire cornea is removed and replaced with donor tissue. In a lamellar keratoplasty, only the inner or outer layer of your cornea is removed.
1. You will first be put under local or general anesthetic. You shouldn’t feel anything during the surgery.
2. The doctor will then remove all, or part of your cornea and replace it with donor tissue.
3. After being grafted onto your eye, the donor tissue will be secured with stitches, which are usually removed within a year after the surgery, after the eye has healed.
4. Most patients are able to return home the day of their surgery.